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Cast Out

The connections among vagabondage and human labor, mobility, status, and behavior have placed vagrancy at the crossroads of a multitude of political, social, and economic processes. Vagrancy and homelessness have been used to examine a vast array of phenomena, from the migration of labor to socital and governmental responses to poverty through charity, welfare, and prosecution. Cast Out: Vagrancy and Homelessness in Global and Historical Perspective is the first book to consider the shared global heritage of vagrancy laws, homelessness, and the historical processes they accompanied. Cast Out attempts to bridge some of the divides that have discouraged a world history of vagrancy and homelessness. This ambitious collection spans eight centuries, five continents, and several academic disciplines. The essays include discussions of the lives of the underclass, strategies for surviving and escaping poverty, the criminalization of poverty by the state, the rise of welfare and development programs, the relationship between imperial powers and colonized peoples, and the struggle to achieve independence after colonial rule. By juxtaposing these histories, the authors explore vagrancy as a common response to poverty, labor dilocation, and changing social norms, as well as how this strategy changed over time and adapted to regional peculiarities.
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About the Author

A. L. Beier is a professor of history and department chair at Illinois State University. He is author of Masterless Men: The Vagrancy problem in England, 1560-1640 and co-editor of London, 1500-1700: The Making of the Metropolis Paul Ocobock is currently a PhD student in the History Department at Princeton University.


"This impressive collection of essays on vagrancy, homelessness, and poverty has truly global historical dimensions. It covers seven centuries and five continents, has a superb introductory overview, and is comparative social history at its best. It deserves to have a wide readership." Robert Tignor - author of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart

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